Posttraumatic headache is, unfortunately, a common problem. It is one of the secondary headache disorders produced by head or neck trauma. It may result from a car accident, sports-related activities or accidental falls or other injuries. Posttraumatic headache can be acute or chronic depending on its duration.
How does post-traumatic headache present?
Posttraumatic headache frequently resembles some of the other primary headache disorders such as migraine or tension-type headache. Frequently, the only distinguishing feature of posttraumatic headache is the presence of head trauma/injury that preceded the headache. Typically headache occurs within the first 7 days after the injury and may continue for several weeks, months, or even years. Early recognition and intervention play an important role not only in overall treatment outcomes but also in patients' quality of life and prognosis.
How is post-traumatic headache diagnosed?
The diagnosis of posttraumatic headache is based on the patient’s symptoms and their relationship to a head injury. We may need to order additional blood tests or a neuroimaging modality (as such as an MRI of the brain) to further evaluate the condition.
How is post-traumatic headache treated?
Treatment of post-traumatic headaches varies depending on specific clinical symptoms. We believe that the multimodal treatment approach is most beneficial. We utilize nonpharmacological methods such as physical therapy and stress management combined with pharmacological therapy that may include prophylactic medications as well as rescue/abortive medications. Depending on specific symptoms some patients might also benefit from interventional treatment methods that may include nerve blocks and trigger point injections.